Developing & Printing Medium Format Film


TPF Noob!
Jan 9, 2012
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Tennessee, USA
Can others edit my Photos
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This is a repost -originally posted in the wrong forum.

Hi all, new member here.

When I was growing up my father and I used to develop and print 35mm film in our own darkroom. Now, after 30 years, I would like to return to film photography using medium format equipment. I have just purchased a Yashica Mat 124.

Initially, I will mail my negatives away to be developed and printed, then perhaps go it alone depending on my commitments etc. And this is where I get confused (probably to being 'rusty' after all these years). The Yashica is a 6x6 format camera, but mail order printing firms will generally print 120 film on 5"x4" paper.

I deliberately chose 6x6 because I like the square format, so why is it I can't get square prints? Doesn't that defeat the whole rationale of 6x6?

Please correct an misunderstandings I may have! Thanks.
It depends on the lab you send it to.
A "Pro" lab will print square using wide paper, so they can provide 6x6 or 5x5 ...
Smaller labs use standard 4" wide paper ... so a 120 neg will only be 4x4.
Actually, it sounds like the lab is going to give you 4x4 prints, with an extra 1/2" of black on either side - in other words they don't/won't provide the service of cutting down the prints to remove the extra paper. Not wonderful customer service, but you can work with it.

Or, are they telling you that they will be cropping your square image down to a rectangular shape? If that's true, yikes! If you can do your own developing & scanning/printing - seriously, do that!
Thanks for the answers fellas. All I have done to date is browse photo developing and printing firms on the internet. All their 120/220 processing is onto 4"x5" paper with enlargements to the standard sizes 10x8 and 11x14. I need to go to some local shops to see what they offer. I would love to get back to doing my own again, but at the moment don't have the space or time. I'm just excited about getting back into film photography after so long. I developed and printed my first photos when I was 5 years old, and digital photography has never satisfied me on just about every level.
Yeah, take a look at some other shops in that case, it sounds like the place(s) you spoke with don't have a neg holder that can accomodate 6x6. Not unusual these days, sadly.

I so agree with your thoughts on digital. I have a digital SLR, have gone shooting with it a few times over the past year, but so far it really isn't the same as film. Not even close.

Have you considered developing your own negs, and then using a neg scanner from there? That might be your best course of action.
digital photography has never satisfied me on just about every level.

I know that feeling ... just bought a used Paterson tank, and got some graduated cylinders ... will get the other stuff soon ... then it's chemistry time !!!
A medium format film scanner is going to pay for itself very quickly.
I develop and scan my own film at home and love everything about it. It doesn't take up much room for basic black and white development and a film scanner. As far as scanners go, I have an Epson V500 flatbed scanner that has masks for 120mm, 35mm, and slides and only costs around 150 dollars. The only downside is you aren't able to actually scan continuous panorama shots without being cut. If you still are opposed to getting a scanner however, a good lab to use is Dwayne's photo lab in Parsons KS. They are awesome and can process pretty much any type of film you have (minus kodachrome, but they were the very last people to process it!) I hope my rambling has helped.
The best think I ever done was pick up an enlarger. I have it mounted on a roll around cart. I just roll it out, plug it up and turn out the lights. Enlargers are all over Craigslist cheap. I highly recommend doing it.

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